Research

My research centers on household and community risk to environmental hazards and disasters. Using a mix of qualitative, quantitative and geospatial data and methods, I examine the intersection of urbanization and extreme weather events and the political-economic context for disaster risk creation. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Natural Hazards Center, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Clarence Stein Institute, among others..

Below you can find information about my ongoing research projects. For a complete list of my publications and scholarly activities, see my Curriculum Vitae.

Monsoon floods in Kolkata. Image: SGI.

Monsoon floods in Kolkata. Image: SGI.

Informality, Precarious Housing and Disaster Risk

Affordable housing is a key component of household and community resilience to environmental hazards. My research looks at precarious housing and how it shapes the pre- disaster vulnerability and post-disaster recovery of residents. I study housing precarity and disaster risk in two contexts: peri-urban informal settlements in Kolkata, India and mobile home parks in the Houston metropolitan area.

Landslide in Darjeeling. Image: Express

Landslide in Darjeeling. Image: Express

Disaster Risk in Small Urban Places

Small cities and towns in the Global South will account for the majority of urban growth in the 21st century. Many of these fast-growing communities are at-risk to natural hazards, but have been largely overlooked in the urban disaster and climate change literature. This research looks at the complex roots of disaster risk creation in small urban places in the Darjeeling-Himalayas, a mountainous region in northeast India.

Lyons Depot Library. Image: Town of Lyons.

Lyons Depot Library. Image: Town of Lyons.

Protecting Historic Resources from Environmental Hazards

Historic resources have tangible and intangible benefits to communities, and are increasingly at-risk from natural hazards and the effects of global climate change. This research seeks to characterize the level of exposure of historic resources to flood and fire hazards in Colorado, and understand the opportunities and barriers to mitigating risk through planning and historic preservation.